March 2nd, 2009

Dustin Lance Black Talks About His Controversial Oscar Speech on Oprah



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If you weren't already in love with Oscar-winning screenplayer writer Dustin Lance Black, you will after watching his appearance on Friday's episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show. He discusses what Oprah told him at a party a few days before the Oscars to calm his nerves as well as how he prepared for what to say to a billion people. And kudos for Oprah to showing millions more Dustin's moving words about Harvey Milk's legacy. 

Source

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Pro-Life Groups Tee Off on Sebelius Abortion Record

You want to know how passionate pro-life groups are going to be over the Kathleen Sebelius nomination?

Let me give you exhibit A. Pro-life groups had press releases ready even BEFORE the Sebelius nomination was official! They figured President Obama would nominate her and they were ready to hit the “send” button pronto.

The Brody File has received a compilation of these pro-life releases in the last few hours. Read excerpts from some of them below. We strive for fairness here at The Brody File. Clearly we have two totally different stories. Who are you going to believe? The pro-life groups or the pro-choice groups who see her record much differently. The Brody File will investigate and report.


Tom McClusky, Senior Vice President, Family Research Council

Governor Sebelius's record as Governor, a state representative, and a close ally of abortionists like the notorious George Tiller (whom she threw a party for in the Governor's mansion) leaves no doubt she will be a strong advocate for abortion disguised as "health care."

While a state representative, Mrs. Sebelius fought continually against parental notification, abortion waiting periods, and informed consent. As governor she twice vetoed abortion clinic regulation legislation and also a bill seeking to curb late-term abortions. If President Obama is serious about appointing Governor Sebelius to head HHS, (written before the appointment) he will be openly declaring war on the millions of Americans who support life.

Andrea Lafferty,Executive Director, Traditional Values Coalition

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius should not be considered for Secretary of Health & Human Services. She has a long history of support for the abortion industry in Kansas, including the notorious late-term abortionist George Tiller.

In fact, in 2007, she held a secret food and wine reception for Tiller at the Governor’s Mansion after he’d been the highest bidder at an auction sponsored by the Women’s Political Caucus – a pro-abortion group.

Making the Kansas Governor’s Mansion available to the highest bidder shows incredibly poor judgment. No political group should be able to use a taxpayer-owned Governor’s residence, as the hook for any organization’s fundraising.

Sebelius has stated that she’s worked to keep abortions rare and safe, but this is false. She has done everything in her power to protect the notorious late-term abortionist George Tiller and Planned Parenthood from prosecution for felony crimes! In 2007, she vetoed a bill requiring explicit medical reasons for a late abortion, vetoed legislation that would have saved the lives of babies who were victims of botched abortions, and she vetoed other pro-life legislation in 2006, 2005 and 2003.
source: CBN
RDJ - Ent Week Dec 2009

Guess who's back? Back again. Edwards' back. Tell a friend.

John Edwards returning to public stage at Brown U
The Associated Press

Friday, February 27, 2009

RALEIGH, N.C. — A Brown University student group says two-time presidential candidate John Edwards will speak on the campus.

Edwards has remained largely out of the spotlight since publicly acknowledging last summer that he had an extramarital affair with a woman as he planned his second White House bid in 2006.

Edwards canceled a series of events before the November election, saying he didn't want to be a distraction to former rival, now-President Barack Obama. He made a couple of quiet appearances after the election but has since avoided public speeches.

The Brown University Lecture Board says Edwards will speak on March 10. A publicist for Edwards did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

source

And here's the excerpt from Brown's website:

Brown Lecture Board Presents:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
John Edwards
Tuesday, March 10th, 2009 - 8pm
DeCiccio Auditorium, Salomon Center for Teaching

The former United States Senator and 2004 Vice-presidential nominee will address the brown community.

Free tickets will distributed Wednesday March 4th & Thursday March 5th from 11am to 1pm in the ticket office in the post office in J. Walter Wilson to students, faculty, and staff and will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. A Brown ID is required, and one ticketwill be given out per ID

Doors open to ticket holders at 7:15 and tickets will be accepted until 7:45. Open to the public - space permitting - after that.
NCIS - Gibbs &amp; Kate &amp; Tony

Republicans Concede Budget Is Hard to Block

Hot on the heels of some idiot kid running off at the mouth about things he knows nothing about (which is really not news to anyone who knows or has been a kid), we get this bit of joy from the WSJ:

WASHINGTON -- Republican congressional leaders ramped up criticism of President Barack Obama's budget proposal, even as they conceded that they likely won't be able to block it.

Congressional Republicans on Sunday morning talk shows described Mr. Obama's $3.6 trillion budget proposal for fiscal year 2010 as a return to an era of big government, with huge increases in taxes and spending.

"It's almost as if we are relocating the headquarters of the economy [from Main Street] to Washington, D.C.," said Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, the top Republican on the House Budget Committee, on "Fox News Sunday." But, he added, "You can't stop this in the House, and it's going to be very difficult to stop in the Senate."



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I love the smell of Republican defeatism in the morning.

Some of the comments at the source are really amusing.

Rep. Eric Cantor: GOP Needs to Be Inclusive on Gay Rights

On This Week, George Stephanoploulos asked Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor, the House Minority Whip, if he agrees with some fellow Republicans, like Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr., that the party needs to rethink its approach and broaden its base by moderating its policies and reaching out to groups it has excluded in the past.

Cantor Asked Stephanopoulos: "Are you prepared to [move to the middle on positions like gay rights] in the House?

Said Cantor: "There is no question the Republican Party has to return to be one of inclusion, not exclusion. And we are a party with many ideas. And we have in that a commitment to make sure that we have positive alternatives, if we don't agree with this administration, or the House Democrats, and to continue to put those ideas forward and again the problems facing this country...are not just Republican or Democrat problems. They are so big. They are so challenging...Let's come up with solutions that actually produce results for a change, instead of making matters worse, which Washington is famous for."

 

 

 

Source

Hm, and yet.

http://www.ontheissues.org/va/Eric_Cantor_Civil_Rights.htm

(no subject)

Why Is Her Paycheck Smaller?

Nearly every occupation has the gap — the seemingly unbridgeable chasm between the size of the paycheck brought home by a woman and the larger one earned by a man doing the same job. Economists cite a few reasons: discrimination as well as personal choices within occupations are two major factors, and part of the gap can be attributed to men having more years of experience and logging more hours.

 
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Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Census Bureau

Hannah Fairfield and Graham Roberts/The New York Times

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&#39; jules

"What does it say about me?" "You're not in it." "THAT BITCH!"

Pelosi's list: Who's on her bad side?



Nancy Pelosi likes to keep lists.

As a young political protégé of her father, Baltimore Mayor Tommy D’Alesandro, the preteen speaker-to-be would spend hours leafing through the list of voters her father had helped in some way — fixing a pothole, finding them a job, even getting them a hot meal.

It was known as the “favor file.”

Those around Pelosi say she has always kept her own favor file. But, like her father, she has also maintained a “disfavor file” in her head — a roster of those whom she believes have screwed up, betrayed her, challenged her or merely annoyed her.

In some cases, Pelosi has mended fences with people on the list, most notably House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), a former party rival who has become an indispensable lieutenant.

But she has also moved to strip power from longtime adversaries — and she has a propensity for remembering slights and grievances for years.

Hawkish Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), who clashed with Pelosi on Iraq and intelligence policy, assumed she was in line to become chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee when the Democrats seized control of the House in 2006. But Pelosi refused to appoint Harman to even a seat on the committee, and she handed the chairmanship to Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas).

As speaker, she did nothing to stop her ally Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) from ousting Rep. John Dingell as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee after clashing with the octogenarian Michigan Democrat on energy policy and global warming.

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This is way more awesome than the Clinton Burn Book - mainly because most of Pelosi's enemies are people I hate too.
panda bear

(no subject)

U.S. offers $900 million to Palestinians

The United States has offered more than $900 million to help the Palestinian people, particularly those in Gaza, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Monday.

"Only by acting now can we turn this crisis into an opportunity that moves us closer to our shared goals," Clinton said at a Gaza donors conference hosted by Egypt in the Red Sea resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh.

"By providing humanitarian assistance to Gaza, we also aim to foster conditions in which a Palestinian state can be fully realized."

She said the U.S. aid package -- which must be approved by Congress -- has been "designed in coordination with the Palestinian Authority" to make sure the money "does not end up in the wrong hands."

Clinton was referring to the Hamas leadership of Gaza, which the United States has designated a terrorist organization. The Palestinian Authority, based in the West Bank, is led by President Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah party is a bitter rival of Hamas.

President Obama has not ruled out talks with Hamas but said the group must first renounce violence, recognize Israel, and abide by previous agreements that successive Palestinian governments have reached with the Israelis.

Clinton is on her second overseas trip as secretary of state, after a tour of Asia last month. This week's trip to the Middle East and Europe focuses on Mideast peace, NATO and relations with Russia.

After the conference in Egypt, Clinton will travel to Israel and the West Bank.

On Thursday, she heads to Brussels, Belgium, for an informal meeting of NATO foreign ministers in preparation for the NATO summit in April. The next day, Clinton is scheduled to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to begin the process of what Vice President Joe Biden has called "pressing the reset button" in the U.S.-Russian relationship.

She then heads to Ankara, Turkey, for talks with key leaders before returning to the United States on Saturday.

State Department spokesman Robert Wood said Clinton's trip is an effort to "take the pulse of various leaders" on peace in the Middle East.

Israel recently ended a three-week military campaign in Gaza to stem rocket attacks.

Despite the operation, Israel and militants in Gaza continue to trade fire.

Egypt has been trying to broker a broader peace deal to reopen Gaza's borders, which have been under an Israeli blockade. Israel has allowed limited humanitarian supplies into the Palestinian territory, but international aid organizations operating in Gaza say it is not enough.

Israel says it must maintain the border closure and blockade of Gaza's seaports to prevent weapons from entering Gaza. Egypt, which also shares a border with Gaza, has not reopened the Rafa border crossing.

Israel is demanding that Hamas release a kidnapped Israeli soldier before it fully reopens the border crossings with Gaza. But Hamas has rejected including the release of Gilad Shalit as part of a cease-fire negotiation with Israel.

source

Cohen: Iran, the Jews and Germany

Iran, the Jews and Germany
March 1, 2009
ROGER COHEN

So a Jerusalem Post article says that I’m “hardly the first American to be misled by the existence of synagogues in totalitarian countries.”

The Atlantic Monthly’s Jeffrey Goldberg finds me “particularly credulous,” taken in by the Iranian hospitality and friendliness that “are the hallmarks of most Muslim societies.” (Thanks for that info, Jeffrey.)

A conservative Web site called American Thinker, which tries to prove its name is an oxymoron, believes I would have been fooled by the Nazis’ sham at the Theresienstadt camp.

The indignation stems from my recent column on Iranian Jews, which said that the 25,000-strong community worships in relative tranquillity; (You can read that one here): that Persian Jews have fared better than Arab Jews; that hostility toward Jews in Iran has on occasion led to trumped-up charges against them; and that those enamored of the “Mad Mullah” caricature of Iran regard any compromise with it as a rerun of Munich 1938.

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Drink up baby doll

Limbaugh fires back at Steele


(CNN) – Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh fired back at Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele Monday, suggesting on his radio show the GOP leader appears to be supporting President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

"Why do you claim to lead the Republican Party when you seem obsessed with seeing to it President Obama succeeds?" Limbaugh addressed Steele.

"I frankly am stunned that the chairman of the Republican National Committee endorses such an agenda. I have to conclude that he does because he attacks me for wanting it to fail," said Limbaugh.

Late last week, Steele told CNN's D.L. Hughley that Limbaugh is an "entertainer" whose comments are "ugly."

Also on his radio program Monday, Limbaugh said Steele is being used by the "liberal media."

"Michael Steele has been around long enough to know that the liberal media will use him by twisting what I say or what others say," he said. "He took the bait, he bit down hard on the bait, he launched an attack on me, even though the premise of what was said to him was false."

Source

EDIT:

Steele Apologizes To Limbaugh, Praises His Leadership

community.livejournal.com/ontd_political/2424511.html

Oh man, I wanted a real cat fight.

That was fast...

(no subject)

SCOTUS Rules Against Westboro's Hateful Matthew Shepard "Monument"

 

The Supreme Court has upheld a ruling by a Wyoming court that the Westboro Baptist Church may not install a "monument" to Matthew Shepard in a city park.
The Casper City Council did not violate the First Amendment when it allowed a Ten Commandments statue in Monument Plaza but did not permit a statue from an anti-homosexual pastor, according to a Wednesday U.S. Supreme Court ruling. The court decided unanimously that a statue in a government park is a form of government speech, and is therefore not under the constraints of the First Amendment. But, the decision continued, there are parameters. "It's saying that a government that selectively picks monuments is government speech, but that right is not unlimited," said Casper City Attorney Bill Luben. "The government can't establish religion; they can't place monuments in and of themselves with the intent that they want people to follow that religion." Phelp’s monument stated: “Matthew Shepard Entered Hell October 12, 1998, in Defiance of God’s Warning ‘thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; it is abomination.’ Leviticus 18:22.
The Phelps have argued that they have a First Amendment right to install the marker.

Source
Redheads do it best.

CIA Destroys Nearly 100 Terrorist Interogation Tapes

CIA destroyed 92 interrogation tapes


WASHINGTON (AP) — New documents show the CIA destroyed nearly 100 tapes of terror interrogations, far more than has previously been acknowledged.

The revelation Monday comes as a criminal prosecutor is wrapping up his investigation in the matter.

The acknowledgment of dozens of destroyed tapes came in a letter filed by government lawyers in New York, where the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit seeking more details of the Bush administration's terror interrogation programs following the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

"The CIA can now identify the number of videotapes that were destroyed," said the letter by Acting U.S. Attorney Lev Dassin. "Ninety two videotapes were destroyed."


ACLU attorney Amrit Singh said the CIA should be held in contempt of court for holding back the information for so long.

"The large number of videotapes destroyed confirms that the agency engaged in a systematic attempt to hide evidence of its illegal interrogations and to evade the court's order," Singh said in a statement.

The tapes also became a contentious issue in the trial of Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, after prosecutors initially claimed no such recordings existed, then after the trial was over, they acknowledged two videotapes and one audiotape had been made.


The letter, dated March 2 to Judge Alvin Hellerstein, says the CIA is now gathering more details for the lawsuit, including a list of the destroyed records, any secondary accounts that describe the destroyed contents, and the identities of those who may have viewed or possessed the recordings before they were destroyed.

But the lawyers also note that some of that information may be classified, such as the names of CIA personnel that viewed the tapes.

"The CIA intends to produce all of the information requested to the court and to produce as much information as possible on the public record to the plaintiffs," states the letter.

John Durham, a senior career prosecutor in Connecticut, was appointed to lead the criminal investigation out of Virginia.

He had asked that the requests for information in the civil lawsuit be put on hold until he had completed his criminal investigation. Durham asked that he be given until the end of February to wrap up his work, and has not asked for another extension.

Durham's spokesman, Tom Carson, had no immediate comment.

The criminal investigation into the CIA's videotapes included interrogations of al-Qaida lieutenant Abu Zubaydah and another top al-Qaida leader. They were destroyed, in part, to protect the identities of the government questioners at a time the Justice Department was debating whether the tactics used during the interrogations — which are believed to have included waterboarding — were illegal.

Edit: Oops! Source.
cookie monster

Designer babies, would you do it?

Want a Blue-Eyed, Blond-Haired Baby Girl? Fertility Clinic Says It Can Deliver

Monday, March 02, 2009

Want a daughter with blond hair, green eyes and pale skin?

A Los Angeles clinic says it will soon help couples select both gender and physical traits in a baby when they undergo a form of fertility treatment. The clinic, Fertility Institutes, says it has received "half a dozen" requests for the service, which is based on a procedure called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, or PGD.

While PGD has long been used for the medical purpose of averting life-threatening diseases in children, the science behind it has quietly progressed to the point that it could potentially be used to create designer babies. It isn't clear that Fertility Institutes can yet deliver on its claims of trait selection. But the growth of PGD, unfettered by any state or federal regulations in the U.S., has accelerated genetic knowledge swiftly enough that pre-selecting cosmetic traits in a baby is no longer the stuff of science fiction.

But Fertility Institutes disagrees. "This is cosmetic medicine," says Jeff Steinberg, director of the clinic that is advertising gender and physical trait selection on its Web site. "Others are frightened by the criticism but we have no problems with it."

PGD is a technique whereby a three-day-old embryo, consisting of about six cells, is tested in a lab to see if it carries a particular genetic disease. Embryos free of that disease are implanted in the mother's womb. Introduced in the 1990s, it has allowed thousands of parents to avoid passing on deadly disorders to their children.

In a recent U.S. survey of 999 people who sought genetic counseling, a majority said they supported prenatal genetic tests for the elimination of certain serious diseases. The survey found that 56 percent supported using them to counter blindness and 75 percent for mental retardation.

More provocatively, about 10 percent of respondents said they would want genetic testing for athletic ability, while another 10 percent voted for improved height. Nearly 13 percent backed the approach to select for superior intelligence, according to the survey conducted by researchers at the New York University School of Medicine.

Embryo screening, for example, is sometimes used to create a genetically matched "savior sibling" — a younger sister or brother whose healthy cells can be harvested to treat an older sibling with a serious illness.

Trait selection in babies "is a service," says Dr. Steinberg. "We intend to offer it soon."

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being in love means never having to say your sorry

rush_limbaugh1
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele says he has reached out to Rush Limbaugh to tell him he meant no offense when he referred to the popular conservative radio host as an “entertainer” whose show can be “incendiary.”

“My intent was not to go after Rush – I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh,” Steele said in a telephone interview. “I was maybe a little bit inarticulate. … There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership.”

The dust-up comes at a time when top Democrats are trying to make Limbaugh the face of the Republican Party, in part by using ads funded by labor. Americans United for Change sent a fund-raising e-mail Monday that begins: “The Republican Party has turned into the Rush Limbaugh Party.”

Steele told CNN host D.L. Hughley in an interview aired Saturday night: “Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. Rush Limbaugh — his whole thing is entertainment. He has this incendiary — yes, it's ugly.”

Steele, who won a hard-fought chairman's race on Jan. 30, told Politico he telephoned Limbaugh after his show on Monday afternoon and hoped that they would connect soon.

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Sugar Rush

Editor's Note: This is by far my favorite conservative comentator. You can watch him regularly on BloggingHeads.tv.
reihan_salam
As the Republican tent shrinks, Rush Limbaugh, arguably the most successful and influential radio host in American history, has emerged as its most prominent voice. No elected Republican--not John McCain, not Arnold Schwarzenegger, not Bobby Jindal--commands the loyalty of as many grassroots conservatives. Rather than sit idly by as conservatives find their bearings in the Age of Obama, Limbaugh, who played a crucial role in the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress, has decided to use this moment of Republican weakness and disarray to remake the Party of Lincoln as the Party of Limbaugh.

In his speech to the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) last Friday, to lusty cheers from the crowd of young activists, Limbaugh savaged inside-the-Beltway conservatives for, in his view, surrendering to the forces of Big Government. Rather than adhere to the Reaganite gospel, these false prophets promise to win elections by mimicking the Democrats. "We will come up with our own version of it that is wiser and smarter, but we've got to go get the Wal-Mart voter, and we've got to get the Hispanic voter, and we've got to get the recalcitrant independent women. And I'm listening to this and I am just apoplectic."

As the co-author of Grand New Party, a book focused on how Republicans can win Wal-Mart voters, this part of the speech was of particular interest to me. By questioning conservative orthodoxy, Limbaugh said these self-described reformers are in fact selling out the movement for credibility with "cocktail elitists." Other sellouts include Republicans disappointed by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's response to Obama's recent address to Congress. The night after Jindal's speech, Limbaugh did more than just stick up for Jindal--remarkably, he essentially said that Jindal's critics were dead to him. "I don't want to hear from you ever again if you think that what Bobby Jindal said was bad or what he said was wrong or not said well."

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A Conservative Judas: David From

President Obama and Rush Limbaugh do not agree on much, but they share at least one thing: Both wish to see Rush anointed as the leader of the Republican party. Here’s Rahm Emanuel on Face the Nation yesterday: “the voice and the intellectual force and energy behind the Republican party.”

What a great endorsement for Rush! (And we know Rush is fond of compliments – listen to his loving account in his CPAC speech of the birthday lunch given him by President Bush just before Inauguration Day.)

But what about the rest of the party? Here’s the duel that Obama and Limbaugh are jointly arranging:

On the one side, the president of the United States: soft-spoken and conciliatory, never angry, always invoking the recession and its victims. This president invokes the language of “responsibility,” and in his own life seems to epitomize that ideal: He is physically honed and disciplined, his worst vice an occasional cigarette. He is at the same time an apparently devoted husband and father. Unsurprisingly, women voters trust and admire him.

 

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a touch of life

St. Laurent's art collection and the dispute with People's Republic of China

Last summer, Yves St Laurent passed away, days after a civil ceremony wedding him to his longtime business partner and lover, Pierre Bergé, who fell in love with him at a Paris party, and was the one who rescued him from the military psychiatric hospital he's been confined to after a nervous breakdown.

Pierre Bergé, 79, is now selling off their shared arts collection, the proceeds of which will be used to fund "more than 5,000 of Saint Laurent's designs, 15,000 accessories and numerous sketches that trace his evolution, as well as encouraging and promoting new designers and artists". Some of the money will also goes towards researching the cure for AIDS, and charity that cares for those afflicted. (2009-Feb-25: TREASURE TROVE Saint Laurent's partner sells their art collection)

Controversy arose over the bronze statues of a rat head and a rabbit head, part of the zodiac collection stolen by British and French troops from the Summer Palace during the Opium War in 1860, before they burned the place down.

Bergé defended his ownership of the statues; "I acquired them and I am completely protected by the law, so what the Chinese are saying is a bit ridiculous," adding that he's willing to give them as gifts to the PRC, on the condition that they "declare they are going to apply human rights, give the Tibetans back their freedom and agree to accept the Dalai Lama on their territory." (2009-Feb-23: French court throws out appeal over Yves St Laurent Chinese bronzes as Christie's sale begins - Telegraph)

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Why It Should Be Perfectly Legal to Call Someone a Fag

april-fools-tom-cruise-is-gay-39601

DEFAMATION NATION — While California wages war over whether gay men and women should continue to be second-class citizens under the law, another debate is rearing its head again: Does calling someone "gay" defame him? A quick Westlaw search yields a string of libel lawsuits against a person or publication for calling someone a homo. But defamation law and court precedent, while not black and white, make one thing pretty clear: In order for a defamation charge to hold up, one must prove a false statement damaged your reputation to a "substantial and respectable minority" of your community. And that's where things are very, very gray.

Because it begs the question: Is it an egregious insult — the type that causes irreparable shame and embarrassment and damage to your reputation — to be called gay? If the answer is no, this matter is settled right now, and you can't be libeled when someone calls you gay.

 

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(no subject)

Open House: What Desiree Rogers Brings To America

By Dodai, 3:30 PM on Mon Mar 2 2009, 4,873 views


We never tire of hearing about Michelle Obama's friend, Desiree Rogers, who is now the White House social secretary. She has promised a "more open" House, and slowly but surely, we're learning what that means.

According to the new Newsweek, Rogers recently invited some students from a local cooking school to talk to the White House head chef — as well as the First Lady — as the staff prepared the Obamas' first state dinner. Rogers will also work with the art collection in the House; she says:

"There is a wonderful collection of art, but what's missing is modern art. And also we'd like to see more diversity of the artists themselves-more women artists, more African-American artists, more Hispanic artists, artists of American-Indian descent, Asian-Americans."

And regular people may have a chance to be in the presidential mansion as well: Last week, Rogers told the Washington Post that she's interested in creating an Internet lottery, where a "lucky winner" will get a seat at a White House dinner or event. Rogers is also getting ideas from Sasha and Malia Obama — opinions on the Easter Egg Hunt, for instance. Plus, there was a Wii at the Super Bowl party, because the girls like playing with the Wii.

Having those who previously would not have been invited to the White House is not only part of Rogers' philosophy, but that of the Obamas, of course — "They understand what it means to feel like you've been left out," Rogers says. Still, she knows that her position — as a kind of gatekeeper — has made her very popular, very suddenly. She tells WaPo that people are not being subtle about wrangling an invitation to the House: "I'm a very direct, kind of honest person. So, if you want it, you just say it, and we'll see what we can do. I mean, I can't accommodate everyone, but people, they want to be here."

Source
* metamorphosis

But I just keep on laughing, hiding the tears in my eyes, 'cause boys don't cry.

Boehner's job on the line in 2010



Few people have more on the line in the 2010 elections than House Minority Leader John A. Boehner.

Under his watch, Republicans have not only lost seats, they have lost some very important ones in Boehner’s backyard in Ohio.

He has the highly ambitious Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) just below him in the leadership, and it’s no secret there could be a big push to move Cantor up and Boehner out if the GOP loses more seats this time around.


This pressure has Boehner applying some pressure of his own — on his fellow Republicans.

Boehner is threatening to deny help to GOP members who fail to hit specific benchmarks for raising money, putting together effective campaign operations, hiring the right people and smartly managing their campaign resources.

If the members miss their metrics, GOP leaders will refuse to bail them out with last-minute infusions of cash from the National Republican Congressional Committee.

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Sup Republicans, I heard you like failing so we put failures in charge of your party so they can fail while you fail.
fruchick - Jon Stewart/Girlfriend

Sign Me Up for a Copy...

Publicist: Ousted Illinois governor to write book

CHICAGO – A publicist for Rod Blagojevich (blah-GOY'-uh-vich) says the former Illinois governor plans to write a book "exposing the dark side of politics."

Glenn Selig says Blagojevich signed a six-figure deal Monday.

Selig says the book also will detail how Blagojevich selected President Barack Obama's successor in the U.S. Senate.

Blagojevich was impeached and removed from office following his arrest on federal charges that include allegations included he tried to sell the Senate seat. He denies wrongdoing.

Selig says Blagojevich's book will tell the truth and will reveal information "that will at times be embarrassing to himself as well as to others."

Selig says Blagojevich's book will be published by Phoenix Books and released in October.

Sauce

I wonder if it will also have hair care tips...
cookie monster

Do you think we are in a depression, or going to be in one?

The D-word: Will recession become something worse?

By TOM RAUM and DANIEL WAGNER, Associated Press Writers Tom Raum And Daniel Wagner, Associated Press Writers 2 hrs 16 mins ago
Job seekers wait in a line that stretches around the block and doubles back on AP – Job seekers wait in a line that stretches around the block and doubles back on itself to get into the …
WASHINGTON – A Depression doesn't have to be Great — bread lines, rampant unemployment, a wipeout in the stock market. The economy can sink into a milder depression, the kind spelled with a lowercase "d."
And it may be happening now.
The trouble is, unlike recessions, which are easy to define, there are no firm rules for what makes a depression. Everyone at least seems to agree there hasn't been one since the epic hardship of the 1930s.
But with each new hard-times headline, most recently an alarming economic contraction of 6.2 percent in the fourth quarter, it seems more likely that the next depression is on its way.
"We're probably in a depression now. But it's not going to be acknowledged until years go by. Because you have to see it behind you," said Peter Morici, a business professor at the University of Maryland.
No one disputes that the current economic downturn qualifies as a recession. Recessions have two handy definitions, both in effect now — two straight quarters of economic contraction, or when the National Bureau of Economic Research makes the call.
Declaring a depression is much trickier.
By one definition, it's a downturn of three years or more with a 10 percent drop in economic output and unemployment above 10 percent. The current downturn doesn't qualify yet: 15 months old and 7.6 percent unemployment. But both unemployment and the 6.2 percent contraction for late last year could easily worsen.
Another definition says a depression is a sustained recession during which the populace has to dispose of tangible assets to pay for everyday living. For some families, that's happening now.
Morici says a depression is a recession that "does not self-correct" because of fundamental structural problems in the economy, such as broken banks or a huge trade deficit.
Or maybe a depression is whatever corporate America says it is. Tony James, president of private equity firm Blackstone, called this downturn a depression during an earnings conference call last week.
The Great Depression retains the heavyweight crown. Unemployment peaked at more than 25 percent. From 1929 to 1933, the economy shrank 27 percent. The stock market lost 90 percent of its value from boom to bust.
And while last year in the stock market was the worst since 1931, the Dow Jones industrials would have to fall about 5,000 more points to approach what happened in the Depression.
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# what is that?

I hear Ralph Nader is still single.

Looking for Mr. Far Right
by Meghan McCain

Somewhere in between college and the election, I started allowing politics to dictate the kind of men I date. And the worst part is, it’s not just Obama supporters who turn me off—it’s often my father’s.



The election killed my personal life.

OK, maybe killed is a bit of an exaggeration. But it does seem to be on life support. Of all the things people warned would happen post-election, no one ever said anything about how complicated dating would become. Especially if your dad loses the election. There are things that have been difficult, but nothing quite as tough as dating. I fear the election has destroyed my ability and desire to date. Now, I cannot say at any point in my life that I have been very good at dating. But I have become something I used to despise: people who let politics dictate his or her attraction to someone.

I am a person that has always prided myself on keeping politics out of my relationships. I think I would have probably graduated from Columbia friendless had I made politics a focal point in any of my friendships during college. I have many friends who openly voted for Barack Obama (many of them also didn’t). Who my friends voted for is of no concern to me. I am adult enough to understand that people vote for their own personal reasons, and I know how personal politics can be to someone.

This is how I expected my attitude to remain after the election. And it has continued that way with my friends. But when it comes to dating, it's become an entirely different subject. And I promise, no one is more surprised by this revelation than I am. If I am adult enough to understand that voting is one of the most personal things a person can do, why am I letting it affect how attracted to someone I am? I know that no one can really explain sexual attraction and why you are drawn to someone or not—but at this point in time, nothing kills my libido quite like discussing politics.

Here's the biggest surprise: I am not only turned off by people who voted for Barack Obama, but I am also turned off by people that voted for my dad—or more so, obsessive supporters of my dad. Recently, over dinner, a guy started explaining his reasons for supporting President Obama during the election (I didn’t ask, I think the poor guy felt guilty) and I immediately found any attraction I had previously had dissipate. But same thing happens if a guy starts talking about all the reasons why my father should be president. I have the ultimate Catch-22 in post-election dating. So where does that leave me, and who exactly am I attracted to? Let’s just say I’m spending a lot of time writing and even more time with my girlfriends.

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God Bless
  • lanrek

Relive Captain Planet Episodes On Mother Nature Network



Almost a year ago, Ecorazzi heard a rumor that Captain Planet was coming back with a live-action movie. This of course made me stupidly happy as I was a huge fan of the show in my younger days! But just a month after we got our hopes up, the whispers were proved false and the world shed a collective tear. But wait!

While Captain Planet still might be on hiatus from filming any NEW episodes, for the next 12 months, the Mother Nature Network will unveil more than 20 episodes of this classic cartoon as well as some pretty rad never-before-seen bonus footage.

We mentioned earlier that stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Martin Sheen, Whoopi Goldberg, Meg Ryan, Sting, Jeff Goldblum and many more had all provided their voices for the original series — and this was waaaayyyy before saving the planet was thought of as cool.

Check out the clip below and make sure you visit the Mother Nature Network for some upcoming Captain Planet awesomeness!


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Drink up baby doll

Trade nominee is 4th Obama pick to owe back taxes



WASHINGTON – Another Obama administration nominee has tax troubles. This time, it's Ron Kirk, the president's choice to be U.S. trade representative. Kirk owes an estimated $10,000 in back taxes from earlier in the decade and has agreed to pay them, the Senate Finance Committee said Monday.
The committee said the taxes arise from Kirk's handling of speaking fees he donated to a scholarship fund that he set up at his alma mater, and for his deduction of the full cost of season tickets to the Dallas Mavericks professional basketball team.
Kirk also agreed to make changes in his accounting of charitable deductions, including reducing the claimed value of a donated television from $3,000 to $1,500.

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Geithner welcomes you to the club Mr. Kirk.
Peace.

Anyone wanna take bets on Pyongyang vs. Pentagon?


SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korean generals met the U.S.-led U.N. military command in South Korea for the first time in about seven years on Monday after Pyongyang warned at the weekend "arrogant" acts by U.S. troops could spark a war.

 

Local news reports said the North had protested against joint U.S.-South Korean military drills that will be held from next week and the activities of American troops stationed in South Korea to support its soldiers.

 

"North Korea argued that holding the joint military training at a moment when the situation on the Korean peninsula is already tense would only raise more tension," the South's Yonhap news agency quoted a military source as saying.

 

 

Collapse )Source: http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/090302/world/international_us_korea_north

If Obama wants to bastardize the Constitution he's got a long way to go

DOJ releases, abjures Bush administration surveillance memos
Julian Sanchez
March 2, 2009

The Department of Justice has finally released closely guarded legal memoranda in which John Yoo laid the groundwork for warrantless NSA wiretapping and other key elements of the War on Terror. They're probably even worse than you thought.

"Inter arma enim silent leges," holds the hoary Roman maxim thought to originate with Cicero: In time of war, the laws fall silent. In our own era, few proponents of that doctrine have been as influential or forceful as Berkeley law professor John Yoo, who in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, worked within the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department to lay the legal foundations for the Bush administration's approach to the war on terror. Despite repeated pleas from civil liberties groups, crucial memoranda authored by Yoo, justifying controversial tactics ranging from coercive interrogation to warrantless surveillance, remained closely guarded secrets—until Monday.

The Department of Justice, citing the "legitimate and substantial public interest" in these opinions, today released a series of nine documents not previously available to the public: six legal opinions issued by Yoo and his contemporaries in 2001-2002, and two more recent memoranda repudiating many of those opinions in strikingly sharp language. Among them are several opinions—two presented in full, one in summary—offering a theoretical basis for President Bush's decision to authorize a program of extrajudicial wiretapping and data mining by the National Security Agency.

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TLDR; Bush administration argues that the Fourth Amendment does not apply on American soil.


This is actually one of several memos released today.
They argue, among other things:
-"We do not think a military commander carrying out a raid on a terrorist cell would be required to demonstrate probable cause or to obtain a warrant"

-“First Amendment speech and press rights may also be subordinated to the overriding need to wage war successfully,” Yoo wrote. “The current campaign against terrorism may require even broader exercises of federal power domestically.”

-“Although such transfers might violate our treaty obligations if extradition is to a country where torture is likely…To fully shield our personnel from criminal liability, it is important that the United States not enter in an agreement with a foreign country, explicitly or implicitly, to transfer a detainee to that country for the purpose of having the individual tortured,” Bybee wrote. “So long as the United States does not intend for a detainee to be tortured post-transfer, however, no criminal liability will attach to a transfer even if the foreign country receiving the detainee does torture him.”

-Bybee’s memo said a 1998 law that prohibited the U.S. from handing over prisoners to countries that engaged in torture was not valid because it interfered with the president’s constitutional powers.

-In an April 8, 2002 memo, the OLC said Bush did not need approval from congress to hold military commissions to prosecute alleged terrorists.


It's downright scary what we became at one point.
normal

A Republican Party In Civil War

source

This past week's Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington D.C. was supposed to mark the beginning of the reemergence of the conservative movement. Attracting a record setting crowd of individuals, the event took on a decidedly urgent tone: don't write the GOP obituary just yet.

But behind the defiant veneer and talk of a conservative Renaissance stood a more difficult truth: the conservative movement and the Republican Party are in deep disarray -- in search of galvanizing figure, clinging to traditional ideas, in favor of tactical combat over policy debate, and intensely concerned about the future.

"We're fast becoming a regional party instead of a national one,"
said Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. "There's a name for a regional party. It's called a minority party. Being in the minority might be okay if you're in a college debating society... But I assure you: it's not good for America when we're the minority, and none of us should be content to stay there."
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